MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Julius Randle scored 28 points, Derrick Rose added 25, converting 11 of 15 shots and the New York Knicks held off the Memphis Grizzlies 118-104 on Monday night.
RJ Barrett added 15 points for the Knicks.
Dillon Brooks scored 25 for Memphis, while rookie Desmond Bane added 22 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 15 points for the Grizzlies. In the second half, Memphis, which trailed by as many as 17, tried to rally in the fourth quarter and cut the New York advantage to 101-96 with 5:28 left. Randle answered with a 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining. But with Memphis still within five points as the game headed down the stretch.
The Grizzlies received five technicals in 18 seconds to seal the loss. With the win, the Knicks are assured of their first winning record in a season since going 54-28 in 2012-13. While the Knicks continued their successful run – winning their 12th in the last 13 – one of the prime spots of the four play-in teams in the West is becoming more elusive for Memphis. The loss was the Grizzly’s fourth in the last five. That New York run of games began on April 9 when they erased a double-digit deficit to defeat the Grizzlies 133-129 in overtime.
In the second quarter, the Knicks shot 77.3% to build the lead to 69-58 at the break. Rose, who played his one season at college at the University of Memphis, missed only one of his seven shots in the half to lead New York with 15 points. Jackson and Bane had 11 points each for Memphis, which couldn’t keep pace with the Knicks ‘ shooting accuracy despite the Grizzlies shooting 55.6% in the period.
New York couldn’t maintain that shooting pace but still kept its lead through the third. Brooks pushed the Grizzlies closer, pulling Memphis within six at one point of the third.
Knicks: C Nerlens Noel, who suffered a left ankle sprain in Sunday’s win over the Rockets, was out. Taj Gibson started at center for New York, his third start of the season. … Randle missed his first four shots and was 1 of 7 in the first quarter. … Gibson had 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen, who missed the previous two games with an injured left hand, returned to action and started. … Brooks tied his season-high with FIVE 3-pointers. …Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins was ejected with 1:20 left when he received a pair of technicals when he argued a no-call against a drive to the basket by Morant. Then Brooks got a technical 18 seconds later, and Morant got two technical, and he was also ejected.
Knicks: Continue a six-game swing through the Western Conference in Denver against the Nuggets on Wednesday.
Grizzlies: Face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Wednesday.
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